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The Canning of iWork.com

The Canning of iWork.com

According to MacRumours.com, Apple’s iWork.com services is being canned from 31st July 2012.

I am sure this is hardly a surprise to anyone, given that it has been a little underwhelming. I’m a pretty hardcore Apple / iWork / iCloud user, and I never really got what iWork.com’s use case would be, at least for me. I have used it once or twice, mainly for quick sharing of an iWork document from iPad, but that would be it.

I think iWork.com functionality is still needed for collaboration. Even if its not been heavily used at this time, such functionality has to be part of Apple’s long term plan for iCloud and iWork.

The timing of this is interesting. 31st July is “late (northern hemisphere) Summer 2012”, the timing Apple has specified for the full launch of OSX Mountain Lion. I somehow expect that there will be new functionality baked into OSX Mountain Lion and iCloud that will easily allow document collaboration between users.

As I’ve stated in the last few posts, iWork on OSX desparately needs iCloud’s Documents in the Cloud feature enabled. Until then iCloud is going to be clunky compared to DropBox for desktop users, though it does have the advantage for users that are predominately iOS based. For users that switch back and forth (like me, and most others I reckon), either solution is clunky.

I hope that Documents in the Cloud for OSX will be opened up soon – much sooner than 31st July. It certainly needs to be before MS Office is released on iOS.

But, I look forward to the concept of document collaboration between users being baked into iWork and iCloud, from OSX or iOS.

New iPad Launch and My Predictions

New iPad Launch and My Predictions

So the launch of the iPad 3 iPad H “new” iPad has come and gone, and we have an exciting new iPad on the scene. For a quick review, I should start off with my predictions for the iPad 3 launch, which I posted the night before the event. I’ll add some commentary to each of these on my initial thoughts.

1. iPad 3 with double pixel display, LTE and better cameras.

Almost 100% right, but fairly obvious. Of course, it isn’t an iPad “3”, and it seems only one of the cameras is improved. But it is quite “resolutionary“.

Of course, the LTE (4G) functionality will be brilliant for those who work out of a set environment (like I do regularly), and the personal hotspot feature may actually save money (one less device to carry around, and one less mobile broadband account to pay for). It will be interesting to see if Telstra will allow that feature…

The double pixel display (“retina display”) is going to be great for people who work in content. As I am writing this (on my iPad 2), I am also writing a couple of books, reviewing and preparing reports for consulting project clients, and regularly conducting scuba diving and first aid instructor programs. For all of these things, this is a great device.

There are of course other new features that are great, including the new Bluetooth capabilities.

So will I get one. Yes, but not immediately. I would pre-order one straight away if I didn’t have an iPad 2, but am going to wait and see a little bit to see what Telstra does, and to play with one in store. The new iPad is great, but my iPad 2 is still brilliant, and I am good with that for now.

2. iPhoto or Aperture for iPad

Nailed this one. iPhoto made more sense than Aperture, because it rounds out the iLife suite on iOS.

This is a great app, and I am certainly going to play with it, and probably do a full review later during my iPads of March. The (pleasant) surprise in this for me was the fact that it is an iOS app that works nicely on the iPhone. I particularly like the ability to be able to send images between an iPhone and iPad, via WiFi or Bluetooth.

3. Apple TV with HD Display

Again, nailed it. Again, this was pretty obvious.

I do like the new UI design. Apple is clearly bringing the UX on devices like the Apple TV (and Mac) much closer to the iOS standard found on iPad and iPhone (yes, I know Apple TV is an iOS device, but previously the UX was quite different).

This new UX seems to lay a better foundation for future third party “app-ification” of the Apple TV.

4. iTunes Movies (and possibly Television shows) in HD

Done. Its good to see Apple getting behind 1080p. Of course, the new iPad and new Apple TV made that necessary. And vice versa.

5. iOS 5.1

Done. Again obvious.

Downloaded to 2 iPhones, an iPad and an Apple TV. Working well all round. The changes are most noticeable on the Apple TV, but some nice tweaks on other devices.

I look forward to better battery life.

6. iWork ’12, featuring built in iCloud support

Should’ve been clearer that I was refering to the OSX version of iWork.

This was my “stretch prediction”, and sadly it missed. I have to believe that it must be imminent. If Apple wants to continue to make inroads to corporate and institutional customers, it needs this integration to be seamless.

And it needs to do that before the rumoured MS Office for iPad is released.

Final Thoughts

5 out of 6 predictions isn’t too bad, but I admit that 4 of those (other than the iPhoto one) were pretty obvious.

Apple is clearly setting the scene with the tablet market space, and competitors are struggling to compete. Whilst there are other, competent, tablets out there, I reckon the “new iPad” will maintain number 1 position, by a mile, for the next year, and iPad 2 will be the number 2. The iPad 2 is clearly being targeted to more price sensitive markets, such as education.

Apple also released a slew of new and updated apps yesterday, including all iWork and iLife apps on iOS, and a number of OSX apps, including iLife and iBooks Author. I like the look of the new configurator app that allows centralised control of a fleet of iOS devices. Again, clearly a play for corporate and institutional customers.

My iPad Launch Predictions

My iPad Launch Predictions

We’re less than ten hours away from the big iPad 3 iPad HD launch, and considering I am in my iPads of March, it’s a topic I am thinking lots about. So I thought I would make my predictions about what we might see. Of course, a lot of thesis just repeating what other, more knowledgeable people, have predicted, but what the hell.

So here goes:

  1. iPad 3 with double pixel display, LTE and better cameras
  2. iPhoto or Aperture for iPad
  3. Apple TV with HD display
  4. iTunes Movies (and possibly Television shows) in HD
  5. iOS 5.1
  6. iWork ’12, featuring built in iCloud support

Of these, 1, 3 & 4 are commonly predicted. I think photo management (#2) on the iPad is definitely something we want to “see. And touch“.

As for item 5, I reckon that’s a no-brainer. iOS 5.1 is going to be needed for items 1 & 3, and should e interesting to see if it has any secret new features.

Now item 6 is my stretch prediction. Maybe it’s because it’s something I want need to see. It’s high time that iWork on the Mac supported iCloud, and I don’t think Apple can afford to wait until the release of OSX Mountain Lion in 6 months or so.

So check back in tomorrow and we’ll see how I went.